David Black, Dr.
E-mail: david [dot] black [at] royalroads [dot] ca
Phone: 250 391-2600 ext. 4357
Office: School of Communication and Culture
Professor/academic lead in the School of Communication and Culture
I'm a sixth-generation native of eastern Ontario, born there of farming and factory-working families. Through some accident of history, I left my hometown on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands region east of Kingston, and took degrees in English literature, cultural anthropology, and communication in Canada and the U.S. All those summers toiling in the corn mill at the Canada Starch Company were not wasted: issues relating to class, community and culture remain vital to the academic and political work I do.
I taught in the communication studies program at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario from 1991-2003, and then came to Royal Roads University as the first faculty member in the then-new School of Communication and Culture. My teaching specialty is theory: I teach communication history and media and cultural theory in the BAPC program, and communication theory and policy in both MAPC programs. I like teaching, and it seems, teaching likes me. I was nominated for the Kelly Outstanding Teacher award at Royal Roads in 2005, and won this award in 2007. I'm interested in the pedagogy of theory, and in the use of new technologies and social media in communications education.
I was active as a journalist and editor in my student years, and was a partner in a publishing firm that specialized in citizen literacy. I'm interested in building relationships between communication programs and the professional communities, and also drawn to social marketing and political communication in real life, and to research topics with a historical and critical imagination. I've published one book, The Politics of Enchantment: Romanticism, Media and Cultural Studies (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2002), and articles in the history of communication theory. My current research is in media education. While neo-Marxist, feminist, semiotic, and political economic approaches to communication appeal to me, I consider myself a theoretical romantic.
I was the program head for the Royal Roads BAPC program for three years, am a member of the RRU Faculty Association executive, and am currently secretary of the Canadian Communication Association. I run a speakers series at RRU featuring communications professionals, and also support a "communications crawl" in which students visit employers in the city. In my spare time, I like to volunteer, write, and run. My tastes in music run to classical music and alternative rock. I read history, social criticism, and fiction of all kinds. I've had some experience in theatre, and am exploring video and podcasting in my teaching and creative life. I'm also strangely attracted to financial planning.
I'm one of those people who loves to read in many fields and wants to know everything, but through cruel necessity had to find a career and make a living specializing in something. Communication, which is the most inclusive and eclectic academic field available, and bridges the humanities and social sciences, has allowed me to be an intellectual cosmopolitan and generalist. For this, I am a grateful and passionate advocate for this discipline.